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Thread: Just starting out.....

  1. #1

    Just starting out.....

    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first post as I am a Newbie but I've been hovering in the background for about a week looking at all the posts and seeing the advice. Fabulous job, which is why I've got the confidence to post here.

    As the title suggests I'm just starting out on a claim for pip - I haven't made the initial phone call yet but I want to be prepared and have as watertight case as I can, as I was turned down for DLA in 2012.

    After reading the advice, so far this is what I have done:

    1 Made appointment with GP to discuss the issues
    2 Written to GP requesting a report to support my claim (I have been careful not to include any information about my health conditions as I want her report to be completely subjective)
    3 Prepared a 'draft' of the final answers to the pip questionnaire (currently in progress)

    I am also going to approach friends, possibly neighbours, for statements supporting how they have witnessed the functional limitations I experience.

    Any other suggestions please?
    Last edited by tattymama; 09-11-2014 at 05:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    There is a great "sticky" thread on the forum relating to PIP. It has lots of advice and experience from those of us who have been or are going through the process.

    What you need to remember is that PIP does not focus on your conditions/illnesses/disabilities, but on how your every day life is affected. Flymo's excellent advice about "painting a picture" is definitely the way to go. You need to give clear information on how you are affected. So, if for instance you say you have arthritis in your knees, you have to show how this affects you. Pain, mobility etc.

    Please read through the sticky thread, there is a lot on there, but well worth the read as it is very helpful in understanding the processess, and what information is relevant in your claim.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by tattymama View Post
    As the title suggests I'm just starting out on a claim for pip - I haven't made the initial phone call yet but I want to be prepared and have as watertight case as I can, as I was turned down for DLA in 2012.
    If you haven't made the initial call to start your claim don't delay. You don't need to provide any information about your condition at that stage - just basic information such as name, address, national insurance number, GP name and address etc. They will then send you a form to complete which is where you provide information about your condition and how it affects you. Your claim is counted as starting from the day you ring up so if you are awarded PIP it will be backdated to that date.

    I'm far from an expert on this, but remember that medical evidence is important but only in establishing the basis for your claim. The most important thing about PIP is to explain fully how your conditions affect you in relation to the PIP activities. Don't assume that they will know what problems you have on a daily basis from a description of your symptoms or conditions - it is up to you to explain how those affect your ability to carry out the PIP activities.

    I wouldn't have thought statements from friends and neighbours would be of much help as they are not impartial (and for all DWP know you could have bribed them! ) but I am prepared to be corrected on that.

    So get that phone call made if you haven't already and take a look at the PIP activities and descriptors so that you can start making notes about what you feel is important to say in relation to each of them. Most important thing is to get the ball rolling.

  4. #4
    Thanks to those who took the time to reply. I have followed Flymo's advice on his sticky thread and made a very detailed 'report' about my conditions and how they affect me with the various activities. I have also been specific regarding the help I need, the variability as to the severity of symptoms but also the frequency eg Re: Planning and Following Journeys - 'In relation to my anxiety I am unable to use public transport due to my anxiety with crowds and strangers, but also because of being more aware of my bodily movements which are uncontrollable. Being jostled (or even just nudged unexpectedly, as in a queue) immediately intensifies my bodily jerking movements and arm flapping. This draws attention to me and my situation, which makes my anxiety worse. There is no aid or appliance that can help me. I always need assistance to undertake any journey ie someone to calm me down by 'talking me through it' and reassuring me, stroking my hand and forearms until the movements stop or at least minimise. This help is always given by my husband as any physical contact from someone else (even family) heightens the problem. These problems are present on journeys I am familiar with but worse on journeys I do not know, so I have these problems on every journey I take'.

    Is this the sort of thing they need? Is there enough detail? I hope so, because I have loads of pages to submit with just as much detail, some have a lot more.

  5. #5
    You're on the right lines, though your explanation for 'planning and following journeys' needs a rework.

    The importance of an inability to use public transport (buses and trains) to the "planning and following journeys" activity has been overstated by various online sources as a result of some careless wording in early editions of the PIP Assessment Guide.

    The PIP Regulations themselves say nothing about public transport, buses or trains.

    Section 3.5 of the current edition (27 May 2014) of the PIP Assessment Guide still contains the sentence that has led to a pervasive misconception that anyone who cannot use public transport unless they have someone with them qualifies for the 10 point descriptor "cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog or orientation aid":

    A person should only be considered able to follow an unfamiliar journey if they are capable of using public transport (bus or train).
    This sentence actually has a narrower meaning: those who need assistance from another person, assistance dog or orientation aid to follow a route using public transport qualify for this 10 point descriptor (known as "Descriptor D"), for example because they cannot see or they cannot understand how to use a bus because of cognitive or learning difficulties. In other words, for the 10 point descriptor to apply, an accompanying person must be needed to assist the claimant in one or more of the tasks inherent in using public transport, rather than merely being there for reassurance.

    The 27 May 2014 edition of the PIP Assessment Guide makes this narrower understanding explicit via the commentary under this 10 point descriptor:

    For example: may apply to individuals who cannot due to their sensory or cognitive impairment work out where to go, follow directions or deal with unexpected changes in their journey when it is unfamiliar. It does not apply to claimants who require someone with them for support only, as this is covered by descriptor B. The accompanying person should be actively navigating for this descriptor to apply.
    "Descriptor B" is the 4 point descriptor "Needs prompting to be able to undertake any journey to avoid overwhelming psychological distress to the claimant", which has the associated commentary:

    For example: may apply to claimants who are able to follow the route of their journey themselves, e.g. they can work out where they need to go, follow directions and deal with unexpected changes in their journey. However, due to their mental health condition or impairment, they find it distressing, unless they are prompted by another person. This could mean someone accompanying them on journeys to provide support, but it could also be prompting at some point in the journey but not simply encouragement when leaving the home or a preference to be accompanied.

    In other words, unless mental health symptoms are so severe as to destroy the ability to get on and off public transport, pay a fare and/or cope with unexpected changes in your journey, they cannot satisfy "Descriptor D".

    The excerpt you have given is about anxiety, which only appears capable of satisfying "Descriptor B". As such, I would rework your explanation to argue to the requirements of that descriptor.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by catlover View Post
    I wouldn't have thought statements from friends and neighbours would be of much help as they are not impartial (and for all DWP know you could have bribed them! ) but I am prepared to be corrected on that.
    I agree with you, catlover. A brief corroborating statement from someone who is one of your carers is of modest use, though it is better to provide a care plan if you have one. It's better if a care plan is professionally prepared, but there's nothing stopping a family member who is your carer from writing down a plan of what they do for you, when they do it and how long it takes.

    I wouldn't bother asking for a statement from friends or neighbours, as this is of almost no evidential value.

    The most important thing is the claimant's explanation of the functional impairments they face with the PIP activities as a result of their disabilities or medical conditions. It is advisable to enclose sufficient medical evidence to establish a medical basis for the claimed impairments, but this can be very brief, as I note in the sticky PIP thread.

  7. #7
    with regard to catlover's post and flymo's post above see this pdf on page 5 about what dwp want to see.

  8. #8

    Example Answer PIP

    Quote Originally Posted by slipmaster View Post
    with regard to catlover's post and flymo's post above see this pdf on page 5 about what dwp want to see.
    Thank you to all who took the time to reply and offer advice. Well, I made the phone call, filled in the PIP2, returned it by special delivery that required a signature (after photocopying everything) and have been notified that there is a waiting time of 26 weeks or longer. So, I'm playing the waiting game. However, not being defeatist but realistic, and trying to be prepared, I have prepared my letter asking for a reconsideration (hopefully, it won't be needed), and I've also been preparing my reconsideration info, along the lines of Perdita's advice - What I failed to explain, What I didn't make clear etc, and I've gone through each activity matching the descriptors to the proportion of time each one applies to me. So, there's not much more I can do at the moment. However, I would appreciate feedback on the following, as this is the way I set out my reply for each activity, and each has a similar level of detail.


    HEALTH CONDITIONS: Severe fatigue and weakness due to M.E. along with balance problems. In addition, I also experience sudden attacks of lack of energy. Also, I lack motivation due to depression. Further, unpredictable and sudden bodily jerks and spasms (GP querying anxiety or focal seizures).

    ISSUES I FACE: Preparing food is extremely tiring and exhausting, due to M.E and I experience tiredness both during and after preparing food. I experience difficulty opening new bottles and jars with screw tops due to weak grip and lack of strength - (Not Reliable). I always have this difficulty. Anything involving using my hands is difficult due to the sudden jerks eg pouring hot liquids is unsafe for me and others close by due to the risk of scalding. I always need assistance with this - (Not Reliable) (Unsafe). I cannot stand for long periods - like at the hob cooking - due to fatigue, but also the arthritis in my left knee and the torn ligament in my right knee. This causes discomfort and I have to sit down. When I do this I have difficulty getting up from the chair to a standing position due to the stiffness and discomfort in my hips. M.E. also results in me forgetting I'm cooking, resulting in burnt food - (Not Reliable) (Unsafe). When I burn food I do not smell it immediately - (Not Reliable). I also even forget to cook at normal meal times (Not Reliable) and forget to turn the cooker on or off - (Not Reliable). Also, when I am able to prepare breakfast I am unable to prepare food for the rest of the day due to increasing fatigue as the day progresses, so I am not able to carry out preparing food as often as required, or in a safe manner. I always have difficulty preparing vegetables due to my weak grip, but also due to my sudden jerking movements ie risk of cutting myself - (Unsafe). I experience problems opening tins (the normal type, but also the lift and pull type as well), along with putting pans on and taking them off the hob, due to weakness and my jerking movements - (Unsafe). Draining vegetables is difficult and dangerous for me due to my jerks - (Unsafe), and serving food from saucepans to plates has problems too, as a result of my jerks ie I spill the contents off the spoon - (Not Reliable). I also experience difficulty peeling, chopping and cutting vegetables, and cutting meat, due to my jerks and the risk of cutting myself - (Unsafe) (Not Reliable).

    AIDS AND APPLIANCES: I use a chunky tin opener to open tins, but my weak grip and jerking movements even makes this difficult, so this aid does not help all the time. At these times I need assistance. To transfer food from a saucepan to a plate I use a slotted spoon, but due to uncontrollable jerking movements and the risk of spilling the food I need assistance. These aids make things a bit easier for me but they do not eliminate the risk, neither do they stop it being extremely exhausting, or impossible, due to my conditions. They also do not have any effect over the level of discomfort I experience in my hips and knees, neither do they provide the motivation I need for depression.

    PHYSICAL HELP, SUPERVISION & PROMPTING: I always need assistance preparing and cooking food because I cannot safely, reliably or as often as needed peel, chop, cut, lift saucepans on and off the hob, serve food. Preparing a meal necessitates me always having supervision to reduce/eliminate the risks identified above. Also, I require prompting to rest when I need to because the fatigue becomes so severe that I physically cannot continue and my ability to focus and concentrate become impaired. The amount of supervision and assistance I require amounts to someone else carrying out the entire task for me. As a result of the high risk and the combined effects of my conditions I am no longer able to prepare and cook a simple meal.

    WHEN DURING DAY & NIGHT/VARIABILITY: My M.E. and fatigue are usually at their worst in the afternoons and evenings, depending upon the activities of the previous day (mental as well as physical) when I usually experience symptoms all day and cannot do anything. My ability deteriorates as the day progresses. The stiffness and discomfort in my hips is present most of the day, but worse in the mornings or after a period of inactivity (rest). However, the rests are essential to help me manage the M.E. The lack of motivation is present most of the time, and the uncontrollable bodily jerking movements are almost constant, to varying degrees.

    These difficulties are what I experience on 'normal' days, but on a worse day I have to spend the majority of the day, sometimes all day, in bed due to overwhelming fatigue. I experience normal days 3-4 days each week and worse days about 3 times a week.

    All feedback will be appreciated and I hope this helps someone with their PIP claim.

    Hope all is well with everyone.
    Last edited by tattymama; 10-15-2014 at 11:56 AM.

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